Sultan Kösen, born on December 10, 1982, is a Turkish farmer who holds the prestigious Guinness World Record for being the tallest living male, standing at a remarkable 251 cm (8 feet 2.82 inches).
Kösen’s extraordinary growth was a result of two medical conditions, gigantism and acromegaly, stemming from a tumor that affected his pituitary gland. Due to his condition, he relies on crutches to assist him in walking.
Biography: Kösen, an individual of Turkish and ethnic Kurdish heritage, was born in the village of Alibey in the Mardin Province of Turkey. Unfortunately, due to his exceptional height, Kösen couldn’t complete his formal education and instead worked part-time as a farmer. He acknowledges the advantages of being tall, such as having an extended field of vision and being able to assist his family with everyday tasks like changing light bulbs and hanging curtains. Nevertheless, he also encounters disadvantages, including the difficulty of finding clothes that fit his 126 cm (49.61 inches) long legs, or shirts that accommodate his 97 cm (38.19 inches) long arms, and shoes for his once record-breaking foot length of 36.5 cm (14.4 inches) on the left and 35.5 cm (14.0 inches) on the right. Furthermore, his hands hold the record as the longest measured in a living person at 28.5 cm (11.2 inches). He even struggles to fit into an average-sized car.
Starting in 2010, Kösen underwent Gamma Knife treatment for the pituitary tumor at the University of Virginia Medical School and received medication to control his excessive growth hormone levels. It was confirmed in March 2012 that this treatment successfully halted Kösen’s continuous growth.
In October 2013, Kösen married Merve Dibo, a Syrian-born woman ten years his junior. In interviews, he expressed that one of their major challenges was communication, as he spoke Turkish while his wife only spoke Arabic. In 2021, they divorced, citing the language barrier as a significant issue. Kösen maintains the hope of finding a new partner in the future.
On November 13, 2014, as part of Guinness World Records Day, Kösen had his first encounter with the world’s shortest man ever, Chandra Bahadur Dangi, whose height measured at 54.6 cm (1 foot 9+1⁄2 inches). The height disparity between them was a remarkable 196.4 cm (6 feet 5.32 inches).
In 2014, Kösen became a part of the Magic Circus of Samoa and participated in various shows across the globe.
Kösen celebrated his 40th birthday a few days early, on December 10, 2022, by visiting the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Orlando, Florida, United States. There, he posed next to a life-sized statue of Robert Wadlow, the tallest man ever, whose height was 272 cm (8 feet 11.1 inches).
Records: On August 25, 2009, Kösen’s standing height was officially recorded at 246.4 cm (8 feet 1 inch) in his home country by Guinness World Records, surpassing the former world record holder, Bao Xishun, who stood at 236.1 cm (7 feet 8+15⁄16 inches). Kösen also holds the current Guinness record for the largest hands, measuring 27.5 cm (10+7⁄8 inches), and the second-largest feet: 36.5 cm (14+3⁄8 inches) for the left foot and 35.5 cm (14 inches) for the right foot.
On August 25, 2010, the University of Virginia confirmed a height of up to 254.3 cm (8 feet 4+1⁄8 inches) after doctors reevaluated him. They suggested that this might be Kösen’s actual height, artificially lowered by scoliosis and poor posture.
On February 9, 2011, Guinness World Records conducted another measurement, recording Kösen’s height at 251 cm (8 feet 2+7⁄8 inches). They also reconfirmed his hands’ measurements at 28 cm (11 inches), breaking his previous record.
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